Harry wrote:Claims about the F-14D's IRST are just made by American nationalists.
Now for all this talk about "IIR" IRSTs, they can only image at very short ranges. If they zoom, the FoV is greatly reduced. At long ranges, the contacts are nothing more than blobs. With heat dissipiation into the atmosphere, it would only be effective against clear sky. I don't believe that the any of the latest IRSTs have any great range anyway.
Very true ...
IIRC, the advent of staring focal-plane two-colour (spectrum) IIR is to reject the flares and keep tracking the airframe.
IMO, the issue with IRSTs are more with tracking than with detection - and tracking requires accurate range resolution which is its main drawback. That's the reason they collimate a Laser ranging to take care of the range resolution. But LRs have extremely low range (around 3-8Km, max), thus reducing the effectivity of the whole IRST/LR system.
The current crop of IRSTs have very good detection (search) ranges though - for non-afterburing approaching targets, the range sometimes are claimed at around 30-40Kms. But ovbiously this info is more of a situational awareness info and weapon deployment will require more accurate range resolution data (provided by LRs).
Having said all that, PIRATE, QWIP tech and this and that being peddeled nowadays claims
to have taken care of the ranging issue to quite an extent ...
The signal processing on the IRSTs have little in common with radar. While the RCs may coordinate them, they are not the main SP unit for the OLS-30. Even so, control of the IRST should really be an MC function.
Exactly ... and when on a airframe like the Jags (and upgraded 27s) a dedicated LRMTS is available, why not "use it" to supplement the IRST (like OLS-30) for AA roles too - yes sys int will be a nightmare, but then it also brings-in a huge AA self-defence advantage (lesser dependency on the escort). And all these will have to be co-ordinated by the MC, which incidentally is the centre-piece of the proposed upgrades anyway!!